United Autosports scored two wins at Paul Ricard today as the #32 crew of Alex Brundle, Will Owen and Job van Uitert won the 4 Hours of Le Castellet, while the #2 crew of Wayne Boyd, Tom Gamble and Rob Wheldon also took home the LMP3 class win. A late puncture for the #22 Oreca of Phil Hanson and Filipe Albuquerque took them out of the lead and subsequently ruined a potential race win, while the #3 Ligier JS P320 of Jim McGuire, Andrew Bentley and Duncan Tappy had a tough opening race after an early drive through penalty. A post-race penalty for the second-place finishers ultimately promoted the #22 crew to third place at the end of the weekend.
The team now move on to the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Spa Francorchamps, Belgium on 7-9 August.
The race started at 11:00 local time, with Phil Hanson lining up on pole position after a stunning lap by Filipe Albuquerque the previous day. Will Owen started the race third on the grid and made a great start passing the second placed car after 16 minutes, making it a 1-2 for United. The pair had a great battle during the early stages of the race, with Will ultimately putting the #32 on top ahead of the opening round of pit stops.
As the race progressed, both United Oreca 07s showed fantastic pace to run in the top-three for the majority of the four-hour race. After his opening stints, Will handed the #32 over to Alex Brundle, while Phil handed the #22 over to Filipe Albuquerque, again running at the head of the field. Phil returned to the cockpit of the #22 to finish the race, but suffered a puncture with less than 30 minutes left to run, ruining a possible race win. They ultimately crossed the line fourth after a fight back towards the end of the race. Job van Uitert finished the race for the #32 team in his first race for United Autosports. He managed to pull a gap to the car in second place during his stints, bringing the #32 Oreca home to take the opening win of the year by 17 seconds.
In LMP3, Tom Gamble, in his first ELMS LMP3 race made a fantastic start from pole position and pulled out a lead ahead of the rest of the LMP3 class, which he maintained throughout his stint. Tom also scored the fastest lap of the race during his opening stint. He handed the #2 Ligier JS P320 over to Rob Wheldon with nearly an hour of the race gone. Rob drove a fantastic stint in his maiden ELMS race and his first outing with United Autosports. Handing the car over to Wayne Boyd for the final part of the race in second, Wayne began hunting down the leading LMP3 car, catching and passing him with 18 minutes of the race left to run. Wayne brought the #2 car home to take the opening LMP3 race win of the 2020 ELMS.
The #3 crew were more unlucky, after Andrew was hit with a drive through penalty for a jump start after starting from fifth on the grid. The three drivers all showed great pace, with Jim McGuire making his ELMS debut this weekend and solidly holding position throughout the middle part of the race. Duncan Tappy got on board the #3 with just under half the race left to run bringing the car home in seventh after making up positions through his stint.
Source. United Autosports